SMITTY: Not only is he dealing with the ankle injury, it does appear he injured his collarbone. Expect him to be done for the year, although, he is technically being called week to week. What a shame for a player that came out of one of the most impressive rookie seasons (last year) for a receiver we’ve seen in quite some time. Before you write him off in dynasty, or for 2015, keep in mind that Dez Bryant was one of the most doubted ‘will he ever be that stud receiver’ entering his third NFL season…. it just takes three seasons sometimes, even for elite studs like Dez. Give Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and Eddie Royal small bumps heading into Week 16, just because they will see more targets. Looking for Week 16 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Peyton Manning exploded as expected in Week 8 on Thursday night, throwing for 286 yards, 3TDs and 0INTs; All 3TDs were to Emmanuel Sanders, who pulled in 120 yards on 9 receptions. Demaryius Thomas pulled in 8 passes for 105 yards, while Ronnie Hillman ran for 109 yards and pulled in 3 passes for 29 yards (which will very likely now have Montee Ball walking into a RBBC upon his return to the field). Julius Thomas pulled in just 2-of-6 targets for 26 yards. Philip Rivers threw for 252, 3TDs and 2INTS, with 9 receptions for 73 yards and one of those scores going to Keenan Allen. Antonio Gates pulled in 5 balls for 54 yards and 2TDs, while Branden Oliver ran just 13 times for 36 yards (and pulled in 7 passes for 27 yards). So, what’s the major takeaway from this game? Buy-low on both Julius Thomas and Branden Oliver… Thomas has been in a major slump as of late, but the bottom line is that he has 9TDs through Week 8. Buy-low! And, as for Oliver, the dude pulled in 7 receptions and the Chargers were getting killed… he is clearly getting work, so he is a great player to try and acquire from an owner in a panic. Buy-low, though, so that there is little risk! Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Inactive for tonight’s Thursday night battle between the Broncos and Chargers include: Ryan Mathews, Ronnie Brown, Montee Ball, Kapri Bibbs. Cody Latimer is active for the Broncos.
Look for Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas to have big games in this one, but that is a given. All those Broncos seem unstoppable right now. While it’s likely that the Broncos get out to an early lead and never let go of it, it wouldn’t be extremely surprising to see the Chargers put up a good fight. All it takes is one early turnover for the game to go in any direction… Ronnie Hillman will have yet another chance to impress, but his usage will depend on game flow. Keenan Allen needs to step-up in this one, as those that own the guy in fantasy may have already benched him heading into this Week 8. I still firmly believe in his skill set, there is no denying his routes and abilities, but he isn’t getting the targets he should be, and he has been banged up a bit… Rivers has to focus on him early and often in this one. Branden Oliver should be efficient as long as Denver doesn’t get off to too quick a lead, but Oliver is still relevant if San Diego is passing late in the contest. Antonio Gates is obviously a TE1 play moving forward, and in larger leagues, both Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd are fine WR3/4s this week. Looking for Week 8 Power Rankings?
According to ESPN, Ladarius Green “appears to have taken another step in his development after showing the ability to create big plays last season.”
SMITTY: While it’s entirely possible that Ladarius Green could be another year away from fully breaking out, he should show flashes of what is to come all year long. Antonio Gates is clearly on the downside of his career, but his lingering presence could slow Green’s 2014 rise. Still, even slowed, he is 6-6, 240 pounds — those flashes I just mentioned should be brushes up against low-end fantasy TE1 numbers. Philip Rivers, who has a very underrated fantasy WR1 in Keenan Allen, is getting no rankings love right now in any scoring format… I’m not saying Rivers will come close to competing with the top 5QBs this season, but finishing as a top 7-8 guy isn’t all that hard to imagine. Want to checkout some jaw-dropping 2014 Keenan Allen Projections?
According to utsandiego.com, Chargers TE Ladarius Green has been working with the first-team during minicamp, as Antonio Gates deals with a personal matter.
SMITTY: It’s great that Green is building a much-needed rapport with Philip Rivers, a very underrated low-end fantasy QB1 entering 2014. Keenan Allen is quite possibly going to throw down fantasy WR1-type numbers in 2014 (yeah, I said it), and Green is possibly on the verge of breaking out, so I think a lot of fantasy owners are going to be a bit surprised by Rivers this season. He won’t outplay any of the top 5 fantasy passers, but he could dance around 6-7 all year long, which makes him a low-risk/high-reward kind of grab near his 9th- to 10th-round ADP. Oh, and if you want to spit up your coffee, look at where we have Keenan Allen ranked for 2014:
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